Section 26 - Porto and the North

Ovar / Porto (Gaia)

Before departing Ovar, make sure to try their famous specialty – Pão-de-Ló de Ovar. It looks like a loaf of bread but is a light and fluffy dessert. It’s traditionally wrapped in “almaço” paper and is a classic Portuguese sweet treat.

Ovar is known for its rich cultural and natural heritage, and one of its gems is Furadouro Beach. A haven for fishermen or surfers depending on the season, this beach’s expansive sandy shores are caressed by the mighty Atlantic waves.

Continuing your northern trajectory, you’ll reach Espinho, a lively city. To the south, in Paramos, you’ll find the Paramos Lagoon – Bird Observatory. This area holds ecological, landscape, and recreational allure, boasting a rich tapestry of ornithological and plant diversity. Noteworthy is the fact that some species are safeguarded under the “Directives of the Council of the European Communities on the conservation of wild birds”. The Archaeological Station – Castro de Ovil, as well as the ancient windmills strewn across the landscape, gives this region its unique character.

In Espinho, an excursion to the João de Deus Park is a must. This expansive garden thrives with the presence of numerous trees.

Continuing along the coast, you’ll arrive in Arcozelo and then at the Senhor da Pedra Chapel, nestled at Miramar Beach.

Pressing onward along the picturesque coastline adorned with numerous beaches, you’ll eventually reach Vila Nova de Gaia, positioned to the south of the Douro River, and further north is the city of Porto. The Cais de Gaia offers a splendid vantage point to admire the enchanting view of the Douro River and the historic precinct of Porto.

In Vila Nova de Gaia, don’t miss Serra do Pilar Monastery, perched in a prime location, gifting visitors one of the most exquisite vistas of the city of Porto.

If you’re interested in food and wine, you can visit the Port Wine Cellars. Additionally, there are several parks and centers to explore, such as the Biological Park,  Lavandeira ParkDunas da Aguda Park, Castle Botanical Park Maria Pia Bridge ParkAfurada Heritage Interpretive CenterDouro Estuary Local Nature ReserveAguda Coastal StationGaia Streams, and Santo Inácio Zoo.

Although the connection between Sections 29 and 30 is facilitated by the Luís I Bridge, other bridges of remarkable architectural elegance link the municipality of Vila Nova de Gaia to Porto. These include the Arrábida Bridge, Freixo Bridge, Infante Bridge, Maria Pia Bridge, and São João Bridge.


Câmara Municipal de Ovar; Espinho Turismo; Câmara Municipal de Gaia

Points of Interest

Heritage: 28
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  • Gaia Pier is nowadays transformed in a pleasant Tourist area, endowed with wonderful esplanades, restaurants and bars, with a great view over the Porto’s historic centre. This is one of the historic places of Gaia, a town that has developed due...

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  • It was in this house belonging to the Portuguese crown since the 14th century that Prince Henry the Navigator was born.

    The building originates from the 14th century when the king Dom Afonso IV decided to erect the Customs House in Porto’s...

  • This museum is housed in a beautiful 18th century building, next to Porto cathedral, and displays the private collection of the Portuguese writer Guerra Junqueiro (1850-1923).

    It contains largely Portuguese furniture, the highlight of which...

  • Housed in a building designed by the architect José Carlos Loureiro, this museum has a collection of naturalist paintings from the late 19th/early 20th century, by artists such as Aurélia de Sousa, Sofia de Sousa, Marques de Oliveira, Silva Porto,...

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  • Located in the Northwest of the Iberian Peninsula and stimulator of an innovative concept that reflects the importance of sport, leisure, welfare and deep respect for nature, the Douro Marina is much more than a recreational Harbour.


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  • The Igreja da Trindade was built in the 19th century and is one of the most imposing churches in the city of Porto. It forms part of the complex of buildings that make up the hospital of the Third Order of the Holy Trinity, created in 1755 after the...

  • The Igreja de Santa Clara in Porto dates from the 18th century and is a fine example of the typical baroque style of northern Portugal, being particularly notable for the carved and gilded woodwork of Miguel Francisco da Silva.

    It belonged...

  • In 1596, a Benedictine monastery was founded in Porto, of which the Igreja de São Bento da Vitória formed part, although the church was rebuilt at the end of the 17th century and only solemnly inaugurated in 1707.

    It is a large and...

  • The Church of São Francisco was built in the 14th century, during the reign of King D. Fernando, on the site of a modest church pertaining to the order of Franciscan Friars who had established a presence in the city of Oporto in 1223.


  • This church belonged to the Collegiate Church of São Martinho de Cedofeita, which is known to have existed at least since the first quarter of the 13th century.

    Romanesque in style, it was built on the site of another church, founded in the...

  • Church from the 16th / 17th c. in mannerist style.

  • Genuine baroque work by Nicolau Nasoni, an ex-libris monument of the city of Porto.

    The Church of Clérigos (Ecclesiastics) is a genuine baroque masterpiece dating from the mid-18th century. It was designed by Nicolau Nasoni, an architect...

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  • Part of the area classified by UNESCO as World Heritage in December 1996, the Monastery of Serra do Pilar is the architectural landmark of Gaia. The interesting church and cloisters are laid out according to a circular design unique in...

  • Part of the area classified by UNESCO as World Heritage in December 1996, the Monastery of Serra do Pilar is the architectural landmark of Gaia. The interesting church and cloisters are laid out according to a circular design unique in...

  • The Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange) is one of the most important historic monuments in Porto and one of the sights that must definitely be on the list of all visitors to the city.

    It was built in the second half of the 19th century in...

Nature: 2 Beach: 36 Information: 7 Bike Shops: 14 Safe Bike Parking: 1 Accommodation - Campsite: 8 Accommodation - Youth Hostels: 3 Transport - Train: 18 Transport - Boat: 2

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Section 26

Ovar / Porto (Gaia): 44

  • Elevation
  • Heritage
  • Nature
  • Beach
  • Information
  • Bike Shops
  • Safe Bike Parking
  • Accommodation - Campsite
  • Accommodation - Youth Hostels
  • Transport - Train
  • Transport - Boat